Capello: 'young, rich boys' are the curse of English football

Manager tells squad to make sacrifices to clean up problems unprecedented in world game

Fabio Capello said yesterday that the misdemeanours in the private lives of England's top players were a result of them having too much money, too young and admitted that he had never before in his career faced a problem like the John Terry scandal.

England play their first game since Terry was stripped of the captaincy tonight against Egypt at Wembley with Capello having conceded that the lavish Premier League lifestyle of the top earners does affect their behaviour. The England manager said of his players: "They have to be an example to the children, for all the fans. For that reason, they have to be careful all the time and make sacrifices in their lives. Young players, young boys, rich boys – this is the problem."

Although Capello said that the culture of excess was a problem "in Italy, in Germany, in Spain, in every country where football is so important", he did say that he had never encountered anything quite like the scandal over Terry's alleged affair with Vanessa Perroncel, the ex-fiancée of Wayne Bridge.

Capello said: "I remember in Spain sometimes, one player went to the disco to have a drink, but [I] did not have big problems between different players, different girls, different women. I think the next three months will be OK for all the [England] players."

That is Capello's hope, although he knows that he has to take it on trust. He has made something of a rod for his own back with pronouncements over the behaviour he expects in the private lives of England footballers, especially with the stories around Ashley Cole's behaviour that have contributed to the recent breakdown in his marriage.

Asked whether any player having an affair – with a team-mate's ex or not – could face sanctions, the England manager preferred to sidestep the issue. "Please, this is the private life and we have [yet] to decide everything about what really will happen."

Capello said that he believed it was not too much to ask the players to behave themselves. "I think it's normal for me [to expect certain standards of behaviour]. This is my idea. It's normal life for a sportsman, for the players. You have to be careful at every moment in your life, no?"

There was a slight concern over the fitness of Wayne Rooney last night, after he bore the brunt of a heavy tackle from James Milner during training yesterday and sat out the shooting practice at the end of the session.

Like Rooney on Monday, Capello also called on the England fans not to boo Terry at Wembley tonight – the Chelsea captain will be starting, as well as Theo Walcott on the right. Robert Green is expected to start in goal, with Capello eager to demonstrate to the West Ham goalkeeper, who has started six games in a row before his red card against Ukraine in October, that he has confidence in him. Despite Joe Hart's recent good form, Capello is minded to play Green, who was suspended for the last World Cup qualifier against Belarus and missed out to Ben Foster in the friendly against Brazil in Qatar in November. The England manager also questioned whether Hart, who has one cap earned almost two years ago against Trinidad & Tobago, is sufficiently experienced yet to start. "Joe Hart is young," he said. "He is too young."

Capello disclosed eight of tonight's starting XI, omitting the goalkeeper, left-back and strike partner for Rooney. He will watch a DVD of Egypt's Africa Cup of Nations performances this morning with members of his back-room staff before finalising his choices. It is anticipated that Leighton Baines will start at left-back and Emile Heskey in attack with Rooney.

Steven Gerrard will captain England tonight, with Frank Lampard his deputy should England be so careless as to lose three captains in the space of one month. Gerrard said yesterday that the players accepted their responsibility as "mature individuals" and that the events around Terry's rift with Bridge had not caused any problems around the team hotel. He said: "We know each other inside out now. We've had enough time under Fabio now to realise what the manager wants from us. The last couple of days, the team spirit and togetherness has not been affected. Everyone's been as one."

Capello said that he had been given assurances that new captain Rio Ferdinand could recover from his back injury to play in the World Cup finals this summer. "I went to Manchester, I met him [Ferdinand] and I spoke with Sir Alex [Ferguson] and I know exactly what happened. I spoke with David Gill [Manchester United chief executive] at Wembley. He told me it's not the same problem. I hope he will be fit in a short time. Also, he needs to play. Only when you play games can you find good form."

News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features playground gun massacre
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Travel
travel
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations should be regarded as an offensive act
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
News
people
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices